Natural buildup can and will occur inside your firearm if it’s left untouched for weeks on end. Lint, dirt, and anything else you may come in contact with typically accumulates near the end of the muzzle and around the ejection port. Buildup also collects around your firearm hammer, if your firearm has one. So how often should you clean your firearm if you aren’t actively using it?
If you notice an accumulation of anything at anytime, it is recommended to strip down the firearm and give it a good scrub and re-lube. Give your firearm a good look every few days for any abnormal buildup. Because if a piece of lint gets in your firing pin channel, you could find yourself in a very compromising position when shooting.
It’s also good practice to clean it after each trip to the range to keep a close eye on any parts that may be wearing, worn or damaged. Plus the more you clean it, the better you’ll get at cleaning it. Each firearm requires different treatment while cleaning (such as points of lubrication), and correct repetition of this isn’t a bad idea.
Your firearm has other internal parts that you can’t see without taking other things apart. These areas will also accumulate debris over time and should be touched at least once a year. If you aren’t familiar with the inner workings of your firearm, you should seek out a gunsmith that can perform this cleaning for you.
In the end, a clean firearm is a happy firearm. It’s also a safe firearm. Regular practice of cleaning any and all of your firearms is very important. Because not only are you protecting your investment by keeping it nice and clean, you’re also protecting your safety.